Nigga, you? (In Nas’ “Ether” voice.)
Ever since Snoop Dogg came forward with some very scathing public words for Kanye West, something has been stuck in my craw.
Yes, it’s true, I’m a die-hard Kanye West fan, but this ain’t about him. Fuck him. Truth be told, I used to love Snoop with all my heart, many moons ago, before he morphed into a human blunt with salt-and-pepper dreads.
Back in the day, Snoop was the D-O-double-G, emphasis on the G, a young Left Coast upstart who could ride a beat as smoothly as he popped a ’64 Impala pumped on hydraulics. He was the soundtrack to my college party days, “one-two-three and to the four”-ing over basement jams where the walls would sweat. Snoop’s voice over Dr. Dre’s bumpin’ beats was mesmerizing. Good like fish and grits. Cheese on bread. Sure, since I studied gender in school, it was a whole lot to swallow, but I did, because I loved hip-hop with abandon. It was mine.
But then the music got boring, commodified, so uninspired. Plus, I got tired of rationalizing the misogyny. Maybe it was because I grew up or that I began to draw a clear connection between the dehumanization of women and the incessant violence visited upon them; maybe I saw the causal link between restricted roles and rape culture.
Still, I listened to a recent interview Snoop did with The Breakfast Club and, uh, I got a little something to say.
Yeah, we know all about the fuckery that Kanye West has recently peddled in.
But what was amazing to me were the jokes, fierce hand-wringing and even death threats against West coming from the very same rappers who have disrespected, denigrated and dehumanized black women for years—in lyrics and in real life.
“I hate to be black and white, [but] there’s no black women in his life,” moralized Snoop about 14 minutes into the interview with Charlamagne tha God and crew on Friday. “Let’s just keep that 100. That’s real, man. I got aunties that’ll pull up with them big ol’ church hats on [like,] ‘Nigga, what’s happening? What you on, nephew? You bullshitting. We taught you way better than that.’ It got to a point where it was, like, it was funny; then it got sad.”
To my dramatic brother from the LBC—FOH.
Where were your aunties and grandmas when you were spitting “Bitches ain’t shit but hos and tricks”? Where were they when you low-key warbled about gang rape in “It Ain’t No Fun”? Or how about in 2003, when you showed up to the MTV Awards with two women on leashes, or when you rolled around with an old pimp like that shit was cute?
I find it hilarious (but not really) that you have the nerve to even mention black women, when for years you kept the “We don’t love them hos” party going all over the world (and please spare me the whole “If you not a bitch, we ain’t talking about you” shit).
You’ve got some serious cojones to even talk about the black women in somebody’s life when your records damn near compelled their listeners to hate young black women—because, to be clear, that’s who the barbs were directed at—reducing us to money-grubbing harlots and worse.
I would argue that 30 years of blatant misogynoir have done more to tear our community apart than a possible eight years of Donald Trump ever could. But not one of your peers ever clowned you for it.
Sure, in a little-known 2015 interview with a British news outlet, you kind of apologized (because, you know, most of the actual women you disrespected live in the U.K., right?) because you love your mother, wife and daughter, somehow not realizing that the hos of whom you spoke are usually somebody’s mother, wife or daughter.
Tell me, Snoop Lion, did you go on The Breakfast Club to say it was the black women who got you together around your shameful sexism? Oh yeah, no. You just got on your high (cough, cough) horse calling people Uncle Toms.
The black community stays up in arms when it comes to racism, but concerning the more difficult, pernicious and, yes, self-indicting crimes against the women and girls at home—it’s radio silence. I saw none of this “rah-rah rally the horses” when it came to calling out R. Kelly. Or when Daniel Holtzclaw raped all those black women. Or when niggas caped for Bill Cosby like he was their actual daddy.
Look. None of us are pure, and certainly we are living in some perilous times under Trump. I understand that as black people in America, we are all going to live with some contradiction in our lives, and yes, as Snoop says, we all grow.
But I can’t help thinking that the only reason so many black men, and rappers in particular, are up in arms about Trump is that they’re in some dick-measuring contest with this white man. Barack Obama was cool. He reflected the best of them. Trump, not so much.
In short, you’re always going to stand up for your humanity, oftentimes missing ours. Sometimes even perpetuating our erasure.
The pushback against Trump proves that black men have no problem going into attack mode when they feel disrespected, but when they are doing the disrespecting, or when it’s black women and girls who are vilified, abused or abandoned, it’s crickets.
In short, it’s easy to disrespect Kanye and his clueless white wife. But even that—blaming white women for a black men’s stupidity—is more of the same sexism that Snoop has peddled from the jump. And look at him now—he’s gone mainstream, because we all know there’s rarely any consequence for hurting black women and girls, right?
So, homie Snoop, peep game: Before you start talking shit about others, please get your own house in order. I think you owe black women and girls an apology (and you ain’t the only one). Remember, when you point the finger, it’s three fingers pointing back at you.
Now go tell that to your mama, cuzzin.